Thursday, October 24, 2002

Giants 4, Angels 3

Moeller's Bell knocks in game winner

By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SAN FRANCISCO - David Bell isn't the best-known baseball player from Moeller High School. Heck, he's the third-most famous player in his own family. But today, David Bell is on top of the baseball world.

David Bell and Barry Bonds exchange high fives after winning Game 4.
(AP photo)
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        Bell's eighth-inning single off super rookie Francisco Rodriguez lifted the San Francisco Giants to a 4-3 victory over the Anaheim Angels in Game 4 of the World Series before a crowd of 42,703 on another chilly, windy night at Pacific Bell Park. The Giants tied the Series at two games apiece.

        Bell's dad, Buddy, was there to witness the big hit. David's grandfather, Gus, a Reds Hall of Famer who played for Cincinnati in the 1961 World Series, has to be smiling down from on high.

        Buddy never played in a World Series in 18 years in the big leagues. David won't be kidding him about what it's like to be in the big show.

        “That's the one thing we don't talk about,” David said. “That's no reflection on him. He was a great player. It just shows how important it is to play on good teams.”

Anghels shortstop David Eckstein can't stop Bell's game-winning single to center.
(AP photo)
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        Bell, a 30-year-old no one wanted as free agent last winter, is so quiet and steady, you have a tendency to forget about him.

        “Nobody in the National League really knows about him,” shortstop Rich Aurilia said. “But he's a great player. If you look at our team this year, he's one of the MVPs. He's driven in big runs all year like he did tonight.”

        J.T. Snow started the eighth with a single, ending a streak of 12 straight retired by Rodriguez in the Series. Snow moved up on a passed ball.

        Reggie Sanders tried and failed to bunt Snow to third. Then Bell stroked a single into center to score Snow and make it 4-3.

        “It was a fastball,” Bell said. “I was trying to get a pitch to drive. It was big to get a win, and it was big to get a run off him.”

        Bell was 2-for-11 in the Series before he lined a ball to left in the sixth inning, then was erased by Garret Anderson trying to stretch it into a double.

Bell strokes his game-winning hit.
(AP photo)
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        “I was probably a little overaggressive there,” Bell said. “I've never hit a ball like that that wasn't a double.”

        Rodriguez took the loss after going a record 5-0 in the postseason.

        Historically, there's a slight advantage to the Giants now. Thirty-eight teams have lost Game 4 after leading 2-1 - as the Angels have - and 21 of the 38 have lost the series.

        “We'll come out and play a good game (today),” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “That wouldn't change if we won or lost.”

        Said Giants manager Dusty Baker: “We didn't want to go down 3-1. We've got three more (games), and one is here.”

Giants pitcher Kirk Rueter exults after a double play.
(AP photo)
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        Much credit goes to the Giants pitchers.

        Starter Kirk Rueter and relievers Felix Rodriguez, Todd Worrell and Robb Nen finally shut down the Angels offense. Anaheim sent the minimum 18 batters to the plate in the third through ninth innings.

        The Angels took a 1-0 lead in the second. Benji Gil, starting instead of ALCS MVP Adam Kennedy in the Angels second-base platoon, singled with one out. Bengie Molina followed with a single. By the way, it's the first time two guys named Bengie with different spellings ever hit back to back in a World Series.

        Angels starter John Lackey followed with a hit in his first major-league at-bat. David Eckstein got Gil home with a sacrifice fly.

        Troy Glaus made it a 3-0 game with a two-run shot to right-center in the third.

Rueter beats out an infield single in the fifth inning. He later scored.
(AP photo)
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        It was Glaus' third home of the Series and seventh of the postseason. That tied him with Bonds on both counts.

        In the third, the Angels walked Bonds again to load the bases with one out. The result was the same as in the first inning. Benito Santiago bounced into a double play, making him 2-for-15 for the Series with one RBI.

        “When I hit into the second double play, I didn't even want to go back to the dugout,” the ex-Red said. “I felt like jumping into the stands and sitting with the fans.”

        Just when it seemed as though the Giants might be done for another night, they showed some life.

        Rueter reached on an infield single. Kenny Lofton bunted a little roller that the foul line seemed to keep fair.

Angels 1B Troy Glaus picks Kenny Lofton's bunt off the foul line.
(AP photo)
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        Aurilia drove in Rueter with a single to left. Jeff Kent followed with a sacrifice fly to right, and Aurilia moved to second on Tim Salmon's errant throw to the plate.

        That opened a base, which the Angels filled by walking Bonds intentionally for the third straight time.

        This time, Santiago came through. He slapped an outside pitch to center to score Aurilia and tie it at 3-3.

        Lackey got out of the inning from there. He went five innings, allowing three runs on nine hits. He struck out two and walked no one other than Bonds.

        Rueter was as good. He went six innings and also allowed three runs on nine hits. The six innings were key. That gave the Giants bullpen a much-needed break.

        “We really needed that tonight,” Baker said. “Kirk came through.”


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